Prime Minister Mark Rutte (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Sebastiaan ter Burg) - Credit: Prime Minister Mark Rutte (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Sebastiaan ter Burg)
Scandal could put Prime Minister on defense in parliament debate
The parliamentary debate about the scandal surrounding the so-called Teeven deal with Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday may well put the Prime Minister on the defensive, according to newspaper AD. The Teeven-deal refers to the deal former Justice State Secretary Fred Teeven made with drug criminal Cees H. when he was still a prosecutor in 2000. The deal Teeven made involved a 750 thousand guilder fine H. had to pay. In return he got to keep the rest of his money and got a reduced sentenced. Former Minister of Security and Justice Ivo Opstelten repeatedly told the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, that H. got 1.25 million guilders of his own money back. It was later revealed that it was actually 4.7 million guilders. The recently published 430 page report on the deal, by the Oosting-committee who investigated the deal, revealed that the criminal actually had some 21 million guilders when he was arrested in 1994. This deal led to the resignation of both Opstelten and Teeven, both VVD, and after the report also the VVD Tweede Kamer president Anouchka van Miltenburg. According to the AD, Rutte might well take the defensive in the debate on the issue in the Kamer on Wednesday because he feels a connection with his fellow party members involved. But the newspaper believes that as long as he stays humble and shows understanding for the Kamer, who feels to be the victims of this whole mess due to misinformation, he should survive the debate. A majority of the opposition in the Kamer now want to postpone the debate, to have more time to study the answers of the 250 parliamentary questions asked about the Teeven-deal, BNR reports after questioning the opposition parties. According to the Volkskrant, Opstelten's successor Ard van der Steur missed the deadline to answer the parliamentary questions, which was Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. According to ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers, he also wanted to postpone the discussion with the Oosting-committee on Tuesday. "Now we have to discuss with Oosting badly prepared and therefore will also be less prepared for the debate. And with such an important topic, that is bad business", he said to the broadcaster. "It's been dragging on for a long time. Every time the truth was handled a bit creatively and things were presented differently than what they were. Then it keeps festering. Especially now that the truth is on the table, it is important to put a definite end to it in a debate with Prime Minister Rutte."